Medical Records Retrieval Rates

Pursuant to O.C.G.A §31-33-3, effective July 1, of each year, the costs related to medical record retrieval, certification and copy may be adjusted in accordance with the medical component of the consumer price index. Beginning July 1, 2015, the Department of Community Health (DCH) will be the state entity responsible for calculating the annual inflation adjustment and publishing the revised rates for medical records retrieval. Accordingly, the rates effective July 1, 2019, are as follows:

  Previous Effective
July 1, 2019

Search, Retrieval and Other

Direct Administrative Costs

Up to: $25.88

$25.88

Certification Fee Up to Per Record: $9.70 $9.70
Copying Costs for Records in Paper Form Per page for pages 1-20: $0.97 $0.97
Per page for pages 21-100: $0.83 $0.83
Per page for pages over 100: $0.66 $0.66
Note: Rates do not apply to records requests necessary to make or complete an application for a disability benefits program or vocation rehabilitation program.

Also, please note that the State Board of Workers’ Compensation has instituted medical record retrieval rates that apply specifically to workers’ compensation cases. For information on these rates, please contact the State Board of Workers’ Compensation at 404-656-2048 or visit the website at http://sbwc.georgia.gov. For inquiries and rates pertaining to medical records retrieval for disability claims, please contact the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency at 678-639-2100.

Notice to HIPAA Covered Entities & Business Associates: 

Under HIPAA, state law or parts of state law, such as O.C.G.A. § 31 – 33 – 3, may be pre-empted by federal law if the state law, or parts of the state law, are contrary to federal law.  See 45 C.F.R. § 160.203.  45 C.F.R. § 164.524 pertains to an individual’s right under HIPAA to access their health information.  For more information, please review guidance provided to Covered Entities and their Business Associates by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ Office of Civil Rights (OCR) available at: 

https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-professionals/privacy/guidance/access/index.html

Fees for Copies

The Privacy Rule permits a covered entity to impose a reasonable, cost-based fee if the individual requests a copy of the PHI (or agrees to receive a summary or explanation of the information).  The fee may include only the cost of: (1) labor for copying the PHI requested by the individual, whether in paper or electronic form; (2) supplies for creating the paper copy or electronic media (e.g., CD or USB drive) if the individual requests that the electronic copy be provided on portable media; (3) postage, when the individual requests that the copy, or the summary or explanation, be mailed; and (4) preparation of an explanation or summary of the PHI, if agreed to by the individual.  See 45 CFR 164.524(c)(4).  The fee may not include costs associated with verification; documentation; searching for and retrieving the PHI; maintaining systems; recouping capital for data access, storage, or infrastructure; or other costs not listed above even if such costs are authorized by State law.

However, the fee limitation set forth in 45 CFR §164.524(c)(4) applies only to individuals’ requests for access to their own PHI, and does not apply to an individual’s request to transmit PHI to a third party.  See Ciox Health, LLC v. Azar, No. 18-cv-0040 (D.D.C. January 23, 2020), which may be found at https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2018cv0040-51. More information about the order is available at https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/court-order-right-of-access/index.html.

If you have questions, please consult with your own legal counsel.